The Biden administration laid out ambitious rulemaking timelines in its semi-annual unified agenda for regulatory action on Tuesday, reflecting what DOE Secretary Granholm described as a “huge sense of urgency” to finalize environmental and public health safeguards before the 2024 election. Included in the agenda for late 2023 and early 2024 are potential gas stove efficiency requirements, along with regulatory items pertaining to transmission, heat pumps, and public lands protections. If Republicans win control of Congress and the White House in 2024, they could undo regulations enacted roughly in or after August of that year.
Despite that urgency, “[i]t’s a little too late for us in some ways,” one resident of Port Arthur, Texas told E&E News, referring to fossil fuel industry approvals by the Biden administration, including LNG and petrochemical facilities along the Gulf Coast, and the massive ConocoPhillips “Willow” oil drilling project on the Alaska North Slope earlier this year.
The Unified Agenda also moves up, by two months, the goal for finalizing the EPA’s rule to reduce power plant pollution that allows facilities to continue operating with carbon capture and hydrogen retrofits — a decision Juan Jhong-Chung of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition described as “a betrayal of a lot of the promises that the Biden administration has made to keep our communities whole and to repair some of the harms from the past.” (Regulatory timelines: Politico, E&E News, E&E News; Power plant rule timeline: E&E $; EJ betrayal: E&E News)